Lexus finally brought the LF-LC prototype to production reality when it debuted the all-new 2017 LC 500 luxury coupe today at the 2016 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detoit.
Lexus designers tried to keep as much of the design of the stunning prototype as they could in the development of the LC 500. The new coupe boasts a long, low hood with short front and rear overhangs for an athletic stance. Up front, the new LC has a variant of the familiar Lexus grille along with L-shaped daytime running lights.
The same L-shaped lighting extends to the rear, where the taillights have a similar shape. The roof is either glass, which is standard, or optionally carbon fiber.
The LC 500 promises to continue Lexus’ recent push to make more engaging, fun-to-drive vehicles. The seating position has been optimized to put the driver’s hips as close to the car’s center of gravity as possible for optimal feedback from the chassis. The interior was designed to give the best possible driving experience.
Under the hood is a 5.0-liter V-8 based on the one found in the RC F and GS F. In the LC 500, it’ll make 467 horsepower and 389 lb-ft of torque. The exhaust has baffles that open in sport mode for a more sporting sound and they open up at 3,500 rpm regardless of what mode the car is in.
The V-8’s power is sent to the rear wheels through an all-new 10-speed automatic transmission. Lexus claims that the transmission is smaller than some 8-speed units despite the two extra gears, and that it can shift as quickly as a dual-clutch transmission. The brains of the car can anticipate which gear the transmission should be in based on acceleration, braking and lateral acceleration.
With this setup, Lexus claims a 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds for the LC 500.
The LC is based on the company’s new front engine/rear drive platform called GA-L (Global Architecture – Luxury) that will eventually underpin all Lexus rear-drive vehicles. The platform puts the engine behind the front axle for a front-mid layout, and most of the car’s mass has been put as close to the center of gravity as possible. Weight distribution is 52/48.
The LC’s chassis is stiffened using high-strength steel and has extra bracing in the engine compartment. Lexus claims that the car has better torsional rigidity than the LF A supercar.
A multi-link suspension sits at all four corners and the prototype rides on special concept Michelin Pilot Sport tires on 21-inch wheels. Production LC 500 cars will be available with either 20-inch or 21-inch run-flat wheels.
Lexus is looking at making the LC 500 available for sale about a year from now as a 2018 model.
Check out all of TFLcar’s coverage of the North American International Auto Show.
How does the LC 500 coupe differ from the high performance RC F coupe? Learn the answer to the question and other important facts by watching this “everything you ever wanted to know” video.
Global debut video of the sharp dressed Lexus LC 500